$327.2 Million in Flexible Federal Funds Not Yet Obligated Nine Months Before Deadline

The State of New Hampshire has budgeted almost all (98.1 percent) of the flexible federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act. While the State has budgeted these funds, data provided by the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery show that $368.0 million (37 percent) had been spent as of March 31, 2024 in the time since these funds first started being received in May 2021. Another $299.3 million (30 percent) had been obligated, but not yet spent, as of the end of March 2024; “obligated” indicates these funds are under contract, have been awarded to another entity, or are otherwise in a situation that requires payment. All funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 to avoid being returned to the federal government, and must be returned unless they are spent by December 31, 2026 as well.

Funding for New Hampshire’s budgeted projects, particularly those funded by the $308.0 million (31 percent) that are not yet obligated or spent, may have to be reallocated during the next six months to avoid the State being required to return these funds to the federal government. While these funds can be used relatively flexibly, the U.S. Treasury Department has encouraged states and local governments to use these funds to benefit long-term health and economic outcomes, and support people disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.